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Thread: I'm starting over... Completely over.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master LAKEMASTER's Avatar
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    I'm starting over... Completely over.

    The last few years, I was focused on making my LoadMaster a high production fully automatic machine to do lots of ammo with little time...

    Yeah well, no more. Moving forward, I don't give 2 squats about speed.

    These past few months I went through roughly 600rds that I made within a little time, sitting down at the press, testing modifications I was tinkering with.

    Practically ever magazine had one FTF or one Squibb round.

    My wife's gun is new, and really picky on OAL.

    AND obviously, every gun is picky on Squibbs.


    I'm really disappointed that I rushed through the last few batches of ammo. Especially when wife and I don't get to go to the range all the time do to work schedules.


    So basically, to end this rambling, I'm going to load every round the way I load rifle.

    No feeders, nothing automatic, nothing that puts drag on the press, and nothing that I don't have full control over.

    Hand feed primed cases

    Hand feed bullets
    Lee Loadmaster - Lee O-frame - Lee Melting Pot - Lee......... EVERYTHING

  2. #2
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I find the Lee Classic Cast turret press to be a great compromise between a single stage press and a progressive. You are working on one case, one operation at a time. Full control over that operation.
    I can still get much greater output than a single stage.
    I have been using this system for several years without any squib loads or other range time episodes.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I use a turret press for most pistol loading......kinda the best of both worlds in my opinion. I can still make good ammo, with excellent control over quality, and still manage a decent rate of production. I do hand prime off press (usually while watching TV or something) so I start with prepped/primed brass. Still have to handle every case though.....so it's easy to do a quick inspection before putting it in the shell holder. I use a powder measure on press to drop powder, but I do hand seat bullets so I have a chance for a visual inspection of powder before seating and crimping. Just my $0.02....but it's a good compromise for me.
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub


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    Lack of confidence in one's reloading equipment is not a good situation. Sounds like you already know that nobody can give you confidence in that equipment other than you, hence your declaration. Some issues may require research, tinkering, trial and error, repair, or change in said equipment or methodology. It sounds to me like you have a plan. I hope you and your wife enjoy shooting those "improved" loads with confidence! Stay safe!
    NRA Benefactor (Life) | SAF Patron (Life) | GOA (Life) | MSRPA (Life)

  5. #5
    Boolit Master LAKEMASTER's Avatar
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    I learned on my LoadMaster, and I learned with no extra automatic stuff on it...

    I made accurate ammo right off the bat.

    My quality went down the drain when I wanted the ammo to load itself.

    Now I have to figure out what reloading tasks my 2 year old can do, to help me
    Lee Loadmaster - Lee O-frame - Lee Melting Pot - Lee......... EVERYTHING

  6. #6
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    its funny you should mention squibs. i went 40 years and never had a failure to fire or squib . lately i have been having a problem with squibs and primers not going off.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator



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    Go buy yourself a Dillon 650 with case feeder and powder check.

    I haven't had a squib since I was 17

  8. #8
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAKEMASTER View Post
    I learned on my LoadMaster, and I learned with no extra automatic stuff on it...

    I made accurate ammo right off the bat.

    My quality went down the drain when I wanted the ammo to load itself.

    Now I have to figure out what reloading tasks my 2 year old can do, to help me
    Two year olds can do an excellent job of distracting you.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    People have loaded several thousands of rounds on progressive presses without problems. You need to take some time to decide if it is the machine or the process, reevaluate everything. Pretend you machine is a single stage, only load one round, one step at a time and double check everything. As problems arise, fix them. You should be able to get things lines out and back in production business.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Guesser's Avatar
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    I loaded with a Lee LoadMaster for 12 years, working full time I thought that was the only way I could stay ahead of demand. Good Machine, made good ammo. I did not enjoy the machine, took total concentration and pity the poor person that interrupted my concentration. I retired and said good Bye to the Lee LM. I still shoot just as much but I load on a Redding Boss and a 34 year old Lee Challenger 2000, with a Herters "C" backup. I enjoy casting, loading and shooting much more than I did when I was a progressive; and I ain't talking' politics with that!!!

  11. #11
    Boolit Man kaiser's Avatar
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    I'm with Tazman regarding the efficiency of the Lee turret press. I like the fact I can already have my dies mounted and set by caliber, and can rotate the turret either direction by hand to select whether I want to resize a batch of cases or seat bullets. Another press I use a lot that is single stage is Bonanza's "Co-Ax" press. While it is a single stage, you do not have to change "shell holders" for different calibers (built in); and the dies "snap-in" and out for a quick caliber or operational change. I've always had a certain "mistrust" regarding "progressives" (of any stripe), but know many people who shoot extremely high volume shooting events that "swear" by them.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Today I loaded up 25 test rounds for my new .308. Used the Co-Ax. Slow but fun. But I would never load pistol on it. Either the 550 or 1050 get that duty.

    I have read that the Loadmaster can be made to run but it rarely runs well without tweaking. Do some reading on what others have done to address reliability. Good luck!

    I had two friends that gave up on Lee’s. So you are not alone in your frustration.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  13. #13
    Boolit Master




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    Quote Originally Posted by LAKEMASTER View Post
    I learned on my LoadMaster, and I learned with no extra automatic stuff on it...

    I made accurate ammo right off the bat.

    "My quality went down the drain when I wanted the ammo to load itself."

    Now I have to figure out what reloading tasks my 2 year old can do, to help me
    Seems you know how to make good ammo and what caused the downfall. Go back to what works!
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same......." - Ronald Reagan

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I always figured if I was worried about fast I'd go to the store and buy factory made. My stuff is a lot cheaper but more than that it fits my guns.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    The older I get the more I really enjoy my single stage presses.

    762
    Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
    My amendment can beat up your amendment.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    I'm shore you have heard it before , but I have found the slower I go loading on a progressive reloader the faster I load good ammo no matter the press . From loading on Mec 9000s , Dillon 550 , or loadmaster while I'm loading I watch every step , and it doesn't slow me down - if you see the problem before you do it it's a easy fix . I'm only into progressive reloading metallic cartridges a couple years and i try not to get in a hurry . Be safe

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by 762 shooter View Post
    The older I get the more I really enjoy my single stage presses.

    762
    I am experiencing the same thing. I had a Rock Chucker that I bought from a older man who was getting out of reloading that sat in a box for years . I mounted it this year. It does the heavy work of processing military brass before loading on the Co-Ax. It took me about 2 hours to process 50 cases and load 25 rounds, but it was enjoyable. Each load is within .05 gr....not sure it matters really but easy to do with the ChargeMaster.

    But that would not be acceptable for the pistol or shotgun ammunition I load. I have come close to buying shotgun ammunition as I likely only save $.04 a round on it, but I shoot about 10k so it still works out to $400 a year. It takes about 40 hours to load/box 10k rounds ($10/hr) so I might be ahead working part time at Wally World...LOL. No question that I save a lot loading pistol ammunition and I can justify the Dillons. But I now run them slow compared to what others crank out. Tomyall made a good point. I used to be a speed freak but found slowing down a bit was better for me.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  18. #18
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Yep, speed doesn’t matter much if your making ****. Just gets you more of it, faster.

    That said, you can make good ammo quickly, heck factory ammunition is made by the thousands per hour.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Ole Joe Clarke's Avatar
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    I use a LCT for pistol loading, it works for me. One thing I did that helped my reloading quality on the Lee was to load a box of 50 or so of each caliber, like it was a single stage. As I did, I tweaked each die to do it's job like I wanted it to work. Now all the calibers work much smoother without any problems unless I cause them.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    I have truly enjoyed handloading for over 60 yrs. I don't handload for speed but for quality. My brass is fully prepped, cases weighed, powder weighed, boolits weighed, all loaded on my Rock chucker single stage. When a cartridge is completed I know it is the best I can do and be proud of.
    Larry

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check